Slow down to speed up your fundraising

Two smiling women walk outside on a sunny day while wearing matching striped tops.

Enjoying a vacation stroll with Mom while wearing embarrassingly matching outfits.

I’ve just gotten back from one of the best trips of my life.

It was nothing fancy – a week in warmer climes catching up with my Mom and Dad, and lots of family time for walks in the sunshine, bike rides, and maybe even some bird watching (nerdy!).

It was a wonderful and precious time, and I’ve returned to my desk with renewed energy, focus and purpose.

The truth is, I came very close to not taking this trip - in fact, I have to admit I’ve been putting it off for close to seven years now.

I was always too busy – I had too many commitments in my calendar, too much money to raise, too many pressing meetings with important donors…

Sound familiar?

This is an approach we take all too often in our fundraising.

We have so much coming at us, we keep saying yes to the next thing, jamming our calendars full with more and more activities that we hope are going to take our fundraising to the next level.

But sometimes, you have to slow down in order to speed up your fundraising.

This can mean taking time to sit down and write that strategic fundraising plan you never seem to get to.

Or perhaps it’s pressing pause for a couple of hours to evaluate what you’re already doing, and establishing some KPIs so you have a clearer picture of the impact and effectiveness of your current initiatives.

Maybe it’s scheduling in some time to have a proper team celebration of all you accomplished last year.

If you feel stuck, or simply don’t feel you’re quite reaching your potential, stepping away to get a clear picture can be one of the most productive things you can do as a fundraiser and leader.

Take a moment right now, and schedule an appointment into your calendar, and keep that commitment to yourself (it’s just as important as a donor meeting!).

Take the time you need to reflect on this important question:

Where do you need to slow to speed up?

Emma Lewzey, CFRE is an award-winning fundraiser who has been helping great causes like yours build and grow successful fundraising programs since 1995. She’s the President-Elect of the world’s largest Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Chapter in Toronto, and the National Chair of AFP’s Fellowship in Inclusion and Philanthropy. Contact Emma to book your free discovery session, and find out how you can work together to strategically focus your precious resources on the fundraising initiatives that truly work.

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